February 1, 2011

Newest Hobby

Some of you may have heard around various health fanatic circles the not-so-new craze... Wheat Grass.
I recently (about a year and a half ago) succumbed to the tales of extreme health, gorgeous teeth, rejuvenating healing power, etc. While I agree that every person could use more chlorophyll in their diets, be it from fresh and healthy salads including spinach and mixed greens, or thick and "goopy" smoothies filled with spirulina (smoothies you add a tablespoon or more of cocoa powder to cover the taste and color - see recipe below); not many people I know who have tried wheat grass, like it. Most people enjoy the pricey shots of wheat grass at their local juice bars, at an average cost of say $2.00/oz. These people tend to report that wheat grass is very bitter and goes down like a spoon of bitter medicine (hold the sugar). There is a better way.
The way I have my shot of wheat grass is so delicious, its nearly addictive. I have been known to consume 7 or 8 doses of wheat grass in an 8 hr shift. The great thing is you can bring your live wheat grass to the office with you. My wheat grass is sun grown, and sold by Sun Harvest. I just take the cube of grass and a pair of scissors with me and keep it in my cubicle at work. Then if i happen to have a few minutes of free time, I just trim about an ounce, like a barber cuts hair (but cut below your fingers, taking care not to cut your fingers). Insert in mouth. Chew slowly like a cow in a sunny meadow. Slowly extract the sweet nectar from the grass. Why does it taste sweet? Chewing it breaks down some of its simple carbohydrates/sugars, making it taste sweet. Amylase comes to mind.

wheat grass in table

There you have it, a healthy way to get your greens, anywhere, anytime of the day or night (as the case may be).
I have used it for treating cold sores, cracked dry lips, settling nausea or stomach cramps, rescuing me from a headache, etc.

As promised my green smoothie entails:
2 bananas (frozen for thicker shake), 1 cup milk (i like dark chocolate almond), 1/2 cup of your favorite berry, 2 tbsp dark cocoa, 1/4 cup steel cut oat (i grind it in a spice grinder to a fluffy powder), 1-2 tbsp spirulina/wheatgrass mix powder, and one trimming of fresh wheat grass. Depending on how ripe the bananas are I add an optional sweetener: agave nectar, granulated fructose, honey.
This shake is deeply satisfying, may just have one for dinner. Cheers til next time!

January 8, 2011

Does the Negative Ion Foot Bath Work?

Recently, it seems that there has been a sudden interest in a machine called the Negative Ion Foot Bath. Now before we decide which NIFB to dissect, I'd like to spend a little time on what negative ions are and where they are found in nature. Have you ever wondered why humans are so fascinated by water? Sure we require water to survive - drinking, bathing etc. I used to think that I loved the color blue or loved to be near water because I am a Cancer sign. While that may still be the case, let us ponder how we feel when we see a waterfall.

Imagine for a moment that you are hiking down a trail in what appears to be a jungle. The path is tight and steep, and you wonder how much further your destination is. You are weary from your hike and then you round a bend and there it is. A waterfall. You hear the crash of the sheets of water crashing against stone and more water. You smell the fresh scent of clean, oxygenated water. You may even rush forward and feel the mist on your cheeks.

How would you describe what you are feeling? Exhilaration? Freedom? Euphoria? Clean and Alive? You were weary just moments ago on your hike but now you feel refreshed as if this waterfall gave you energy, right? Well, you see, waterfalls are generators in a way. They generate massive amounts of negative ions. I could probably publish an entire blog on just my fascination of water features, but that will have to be a topic for another day. I am in the market for a NIFB at the moment and I wonder if you have had any experiences regarding the matter?

Now a quick search of Negative Ion Foot Bath Machines on any of a number

of Shopping websites, comes up with a range of machines in the price range of
45 to 450 dollars a piece. Which is part of the reason that I decided to blog about
this subject. They also range in power usage/putout which then determines how
effective the machine is. Then there are the machines that look like they were made
by a reputable company-some look professional like the one in the picture. There are also the kind that are bare bones, but claim to be more efficient. I think in the end I will just pick a mid-range one. I may just pick a bare bones machine. Who needs ergonomic plastic to surround the inner-workings of the machine anyway, right?

The machine itself would be so handy for detox applications. I could always charge people to use the machine, maybe I would be able to get some of my money back out of the thing. I wonder how easily you could incorporate that into a clinical setting, or if there would be a market for a one-time-use-for-a-fee sort of service. I guess I will just have to figure out what my priorities are on the matter, and whether I think this will work enough to spend about 300 dollars on a machine for my feet. I will let you know eventually if I do go ahead and get one of these and then answer some of the questions that I have just posed.

In the meantime however, if you have any experience with one of these implements, I would greatly appreciate your comments and suggestions regarding the Negative Ion Foot Bath.

January 3, 2011

What is an Empath?

So I heard a woman introduce herself as an Empath, "I feel what others are feeling" she said. This piqued my interest immediately, I had to know more about the subject. I thought I would share. A quick search brought up several articles instantly. The first I clicked on was "Seven signs you're an Empath". In it the author, Isabella Snow, in meaningful detail explains the arduous life of these special people. The first sign was this:   

1. Do you feel overwhelmed with inexplicable emotions, while in public? 
Yes, I'm very sensitive to the change of mood or the change in energy emanating from either groups of people or specific persons.  This is one of the reasons for my interest in psychology and anthropology, I want to know why people do what they do so well that I can predict their movement and behavior. I have often tried to explain it to people how I just know when someone is hurting.    
2. Do you experience other people's physical ailments? 
Yes, I avoid hospitals like the plague, as well as nursing homes and other institutions where pain is a constant variable. It makes it difficult to come up with appropriate excuses as to why I'm not able to visit friends or family in hospital. The few times I've gone in the last ten years, maybe four times total, I feel drained and exhausted afterward and crave a shower (negative ions for energy). 
3. Do you feel overwhelmed when watching something horrible in real life or even on television?
Yes, I used to be disgusted by people who could slowly drive by a gruesome car accident and gawk at peoples pain as though it were a past time. When I would mention something to my car-mates they would laugh and say:"What? This is what humans do, they are curious about these kinds of things." Also I am unable to watch "scary" movies, not because they scare me, but because they pervade my reality and waking life so completely, that its difficult for me to discern in memory whether it was a movie or something that actually happened to me. Horror movies, and especially violent movies are not a staple form of entertainment for me.
4. Do you ALWAYS know what someone really means?
Yes. People tend to assume once they get to know me that the reason I am always spot on with everyone is because of my ability to "psychoanalyze". I've been alright with this conclusion for the most part, though I realized from an early age that to psychoanalyze took conscious effort. I pay a lot of attention to sentence structure and tone of voice, emphasis on certain words or letters, accent and intonation. I may analyze after speaking with you, all the possible meanings taking into account your background and culture. 
5. Do you need to care for anyone in pain, no matter who they are or what they’ve done to you? 
Yes. I tend to befriend broken people, people who either have self-esteem issues or people who carry a lot of emotional baggage. I'm warier now than I used to be however, I may be compelled to help but then I weigh the pros and cons of such a gesture before I commit to help the individual. This may seem cold to some, but I find it necessary to survive.   
6. Do people open up to you – even if you don’t want them to? 
Yes. There was a time when I would only go do my food shopping early in the morning, think 2 or 3 am. I found it necessary as complete strangers would find me out and tell me all matter of embarrassing things. It progressed to the point that I had to carry a pair of headphones around just to keep from attracting too many people from expressing their complaints and desires. I do not like to listen to music in public as I feel its a distraction and unsafe, so I would just stick the end piece into a pocket and try to look like I was listening to music blaring into my ears.  
7. Can you heal?
Yes. I was raised in the Christian Faith and was told my entire childhood that there were certain gifts bestowed upon His people that were designed to help others. Though I never enlisted in those beliefs, nor healed in order to give praise or glory to a Higher Power, I assumed that the healing I was doing was detrimental to myself. My mother was terminally ill while I was a child, and I remember instances where I would tiptoe into her room without a sound and just absorb some of her negative energy to help her have a better day, because my little brother often asked where mother was or why she was always in her bedroom, and all I wanted was for life to be as normal as possible. Currently, I have strict rules of engagement when it comes to the act of healing. I find that these parameters help me to stay healthy. 

What about you? Are you able to relate to others without even trying? I'm glad that I stumbled upon the woman who said she was an empath because her words have given me a label. The idea that what I have, others have, and its A-OK! Maybe you have a similar/dissimilar gift you would like to share? Please do.  If you think that you might be an empath you could check out this link Empath Quiz . I was surprised at my results. 
I wonder if there is such a thing as male empaths, or if this tends to be a female characteristic?  


Organic Raw Brown Rice Milk Recipe

I was reading a book by Natalia Rose: The Raw Food Detox Diet: The Five-Step Plan for Vibrant Health and Maximum Weight Loss, and there is a section where she talks about food combining. Now I'm somewhat new to the idea of food combining, but she suggests that for a raw food diet one should limit ones use of nut milks and fruit in the same meal.  Now, I normally in the mornings, or at least until dinner consume large fruit and nut milk smoothies, which I find in her book to be inappropriate.
 She meticulously explains the raw food diet in such great detail, its an amazing
book, well worth the 12 bucks to achieve serious weight loss and vibrant,
 exhilarating health. Not to mention her fun style of telling you what you need to
 be doing differently is done with compassion and understanding, and you feel like
 you could also benefit from her advice. I know I have so far.

What to do? I just happened to have a huge jar of Organic Brown Basmati Long Grain Rice, that I had left over before switching to a Raw Food Diet (hooray, for new years resolutions, right). I soaked the rice in fresh water for about 48 hours, because at first I was going to attempt to make a raw sushi with soaked rice. Once the rice was nice and "sprouted" (could not really tell as it does not grow a tail like other sprouts) I blended it up with fresh water, a couple of dates (pitted), and some vanilla (I imported it from Mexico, last time I went), blended it all up, and strained the rice stuff out. Delicious, Frothy, and faintly sweet. I quickly drank a glass on its own. Its nutty, and milky (more so than some store-bought milks I have tasted). 

Then I realized that I had pieces of rice that were blended into small pieces that when strained resembled or at least would be easier to consume if placed in sushi (but they were sweet little pieces that smelled of vanilla, somewhat off-putting in sushi I think). Not to worry however, next time I make some Brown Rice Milk, I'll blend up (make the milk) with just the rice and water, then blend the flavorings and the rice milk on its own, so that I can use the leftover rice pieces for raw sushi. 

January 1, 2011

Flavorite: Cheesy Kale Crisps by Kaia

      I tried to limit my immediate consumption of the Kaia Kale Crisps I bought at the market last week, I promised myself I would only eat 2 or three ounces and then i would save the rest for another day. The bag was a bit difficult to open, but then i tend to have difficulty opening most plastic items. But once i had the bag open (reusable-nice), my taste buds were in love. The paper thin flakes, that melted on the tongue and tasted closer to cheese than i had heretofore tasted as far as vegan cheese goes. I was ecstatic and I quickly finished the entire bag in less than 24 hours.

Now as you can tell by the price of the item above, that would be an expensive habit to support. So I took about a cup of "7 Bean Soup mix", and sprouted it for a week. Then i "breaded" it with about a cup of nutritional yeast, some sea salt and coconut oil. Next I dehydrated it for about 6 hours until they were nice and crisp with a bit of a chewy center. Voila, raw vegan sprouted 7 bean snack that tastes cheesy. How very satisfying.


New Years Day

Today was a chill day for me, well more chill than normal. Before we get started though I should tell a bit of the backstory. Yesterday, New Years Eve, my mothers side of the family held their every 6 or 7th year reunion, so for the most part of the day we spent our afternoon in the rented dining hall of a small, strange church in a tinier town. Boredom ensued, and as is the case when the mood shifts I feel its my duty to keep the "party" moving. So very animated, I talked, and talked. from 12pm to 10pm, I entertained my heart out. So when we finally returned home, (my brother and I carpooled), I was quite exhausted, we returned home to quickly change and go to a NY'E party. We ran into the party, just in time for the 7,6,5,... Then Hooray!!! Quick peck on the respective singles' cheeks. Making my way around to the various cliques and groups of friends, making an appearance, shaking hands, asking concerned questions. By the time I was returning to my car it was 2:35am. In bed by 3:00am... dozing, dreaming, asleep...

Alarm: 5:15am- climb out of bed
Walking into work by 6am to work the old 8 hour shift.

But the fun thing is, I was able to come home 15 minutes early, make dinner, listen to music, and relax. Sitting here relaxing is what I am doing as I sit here beginning what I hope to be a Long and Fruitful Endeavor. I hope to be enriched by you as you comment on my articles, I hope our paths will align and we will feel enriched and strengthened by this exchange.